Pairing Jesus’ last seven words with statements by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. demonstrates that while Jesus’ death carries unique spiritual and theological import for the church, King’s assassination is a continuing reminder of the prophetic significance of martyrs and martyrdom in Christian life and history.
We’ve ritualized death away from the young in this culture, in funeral homes and hospice facilities, but it has overtaken them with a vengeance in what were once safe spaces for learning.
I am sick to death of decades of our ceaseless inability to avoid personal, spiritual and communal schism in our churches and ourselves. Truth to tell, however, 2,000 years of Christian history illustrate that the same Jesus Story that unites all Christ’s church often drives it apart. I’ve often teased that “Baptists multiply by dividing.” It’s not funny anymore. Never was.
“Religious liberty and its constitutional guardrail, the separation of church and state, are in trouble today.” My late, great friend and Wake Forest colleague James Dunn wrote those words in 1991. As a consummate analyst of Baptists and religious liberty,…
At this moment in history, how can American Christians, themselves deeply divided over scripture, doctrine, sexuality, abortion, and other culture war accoutrements, foster a common compulsion to speak out against white supremacist fiction before it gains an even stronger implicit or explicit influence?
When I think how we Christians have contributed to our own current dilemma, that’s when my prayers turn from frightened to fervent, invoking Divine assistance in “meeting Jesus again, for the first time,” to paraphrase the late Marcus Borg.
To parody low income, impoverished people politically, ecclesiastically, theologically or pragmatically is to undermine or downright ignore the almost relentless concern offered them by the purported Good News of Christ’s gospel, especially at the season of Advent.
This Advent, the Jesus Story has been sordidly deployed in defense of a political candidate beset by shameful accusations and ineffectual self-righteousness.